Friday, 29 May 2009

Interview With The Vampire by Anne Rice

In a darkened room a young man sits telling the macabre and eerie story of his life - the story of a vampire, gifted with eternal life, cursed with an exquisite craving for human blood. Anne Rice's compulsively readable novel is arguably the most celebrated work of vampire fiction since Bram Stoker's Dracula was published in 1897. As the Washington Post said on its first publication, it is a 'thrilling, strikingly original work of the imagination ...sometimes horrible, sometimes beautiful, always unforgettable'.

I have actually read this book before, a friend of mine was talking about Anne Rice on Facebook and I just thought I've only read the first two books and there are over 10 in the series and I must get cracking! I first read this about 4 years ago so thought it should be re-read, actually I am reading the omnibus of the first three books but, thought I would review them seperately rather than all in one hit.

My review of four years ago:

This book is based on four very different Vampires.This is the story of Louis who became a vampire after his brothers suicide, he tells of how Lestat made Louis a vampire for economic reasons and aside from that he also wanted a companion. Lestat has Louis as a vampire only because as far as Louis knows there are no other vampires he can turn to.

Over the years he turns to distaste for Lestat, and Lestat who in his efforts to keep Louis by his side he takes a young girl whom Louis had fed upon and makes her a vampire.He knows Louis would never abandon her.The girl is called Claudia, she seems to accept what has happened, she is just a young girl and can barely remember her childhood. She does manage to get away from Lestat with Louis and its on their travels to Paris they encounter Armand.

This is quite a depressive story, Louis is not a happy Vampire! This is a classic book that everyone should read most especially if you love horror or occult.

Having re-read the book even though I loved it first time around I seemed to enjoy it more this time, strange but, true. Since I originally read this I have read lots and lots of Vampire books and in all honesty there is nothing like this its amazing, its engrossing so sensual.

A lot of other vampire books have a bit of a chick lit edge to them (not all just some) this is more your grown up Vampire tale.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

The Knight of the Sacred Lake by Rosalind Miles

Last in a line of proud queens elected to rule the fertile lands of the West, true owner of the legendary Round Table, guardian of the Great Goddess herself . . . a woman whose story has never been told--until now.

As High King and Queen, Arthur and Guenevere reign supreme across the many kingdoms of Great Britain. Still, Guenevere secretly mourns the loss of her beloved Lancelot, who has returned to the Sacred Lake of his boyhood, hoping to restore his faith in chivalry in the place where he learned to be a knight. In a glittering Pentecost ceremony, new knights are sworn to the Round Table, including Arthur's nephews, Agravain and Gawain. After many years of strife, peace is restored to Guenevere's realm.

But betrayal, jealousy, and ancient blood feuds fester unseen. Morgan Le Fay, now the mother of Arthur's only son, Mordred, has become the focus of Merlin's age-old quest to ensure the survival of the house of Pendragon. From the east comes the shattering news that Guenevere may have a rival for Lancelot's love. A bleak shadow falls again across Camelot--and across the sacred isle of Avalon, where Roman priests threaten the life of the Lady herself. At the center of the storm is Guenevere, torn between her love for her husband, her people, and Sir Lancelot of the Lake.

With rare and intuitive magic, Rosalind Miles brings to life a legendary woman's bravery and passion, and all the pageantry, heartbreak, violence, and beauty of an age gone by.

Following on from Guenevere, Queen of the Summer Country this is the middle book of the trilogy and I wasn't expecting any great shakes as personally I find middle books not that great! Actually, this was just slightly better than the first book ...

Arthur in this book seems like quite a weak character which is not how I imagined him to be and Guenevere seems a little more grown up than she was in GQOTSC. This book continues after Guenevere's affair with Lancelot and she has sent him away after Arthur's incestuous relationship with his sister, Morgan La Fay.

This book mainly covers Merlin's attempts in finding Mordred and Lancelot returning to Camelot, although the series is predominantly Guenevere's you do get the viewpoints of other characters thrown in for good measure.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Guenevere, Queen of the Summer Country by Rosalind Miles

Last in a line of proud queens elected to rule the fertile lands of the West, true owner of the legendary Round Table, guardian
of the Great Goddess herself . . . a woman whose story has never been told -- until now

Raised in the tranquil beauty of the Summer Country, Princess Guenevere has led a charmed and contented life -- until the sudden, violent death of her mother, Queen Maire, leaves the Summer Country teetering on the brink of anarchy. Only the miraculous arrival of Arthur, heir to the Pendragon dynasty, allows Guenevere to claim her mother's throne. Smitten by the bold, sensuous princess, Arthur offers to marry her and unite their territories, allowing her to continue to reign in her own right. Their love match creates the largest and most powerful kingdom in the Isles. Yet even the glories of Camelot are not safe from the shadows of evil and revenge. Arthur is reunited with his long-lost half-sisters, Morgause and Morgan, princesses torn from their mother and their ancestral right by Arthur's father, the brutal and unscrupulous King Uther. Both daughters will avenge their suffering, but it is Morgan who strikes the deadliest blows, using her enchantments to destroy all Guenevere holds dear and to force Arthur to betray his Queen.

In the chaos that follows, Arthur dispatches a new knight to Guenevere, the young French prince Lancelot, never knowing that Lancelot's passion for the Queen, and hers for him, may be the love that spells ruin for Camelot.

Rosalind Miles is a great author I, Elizabeth was one of the best fiction books on Elizabeth I have read, so why has this been sitting on my bookshelf for over 4 years un-read? Well it hasn't had hugely great reviews and sometimes that makes me put any books further down my TBR list - this is a classic case of not listening to others but, making up your own mind.

Mists of Avalon will always be for me one of the best Arturian reads and whilst this was not as good it was a much easier read. This is not an action book so if your looking for that your not going to like this. Equally if you are looking for some really deep and something that needs 101% concentration on again it won't be your cup of tea - this would be a great book to start if your new to Arthurian literature.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

The Chalice by Phil Rickman

The magical Glastonbury Tor has been a lifelong obsession for Dianne Ffitch. But as the atmosphere of the place becomes soured by bitterness, violence and death, Dianne is convinced she is being warned of impending disaster. Could there be an anti-Grail in existence - the Dark Chalice?

This was my first book by Phil Rickman and whilst it was good I don't think I would be in a huge rush to read another of his!

It was good to see both sides of the coin with the new age folk and all the cynics and the descriptions of Glastonbury sound pretty good but, as I haven't been there I can't say how accurate they are but, going by the reviews it seems pretty accurate.

The characters too are pretty interesting but, I found there were too many sub-plots going on that when something happened it flipped over to something else.

This is probably more interesting if you have lived in Glastonbury etc. but, I did find it slightly tedious although I did find it slightly similar to Kit Berry's books but, there were better than this so would recommend those over this.

Sorry to anyone who loved this as I know its seems quite popular but, I just didn't gel with it ...